Meadow will use the time "to travel and write," according to a statement. She will return to MTC for the 2008-09 season.
Daniel Sullivan, a close associate of MTC and director of several Manhattan Theatre Club productions (Proof, Sight Unseen, Brooklyn Boy, Psychopathia Sexualis), will serve as acting artistic director, working with Barry Grove, MTC's longtime executive producer, and with MTC's artistic staff, including Paige Evans, director of artistic development; Mandy Greenfield, director of artistic operations; and Amy Loe, director of artistic administration.
Sullivan has been consulting with Meadow and MTC's artistic staff on the planning of the 2007-08 season. Meadow will consult on the planning of the 2008-09 season.
Meadow said, "After 34 years as artistic director, I welcome the opportunity for more time to travel and see the work of other theatres. I asked Dan to step in as acting artistic director and was thrilled when he agreed. He is one of our country's finest directors and has major experience running a theatre, having spent 20 years as artistic director of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Knowing that Dan will be working with my closest artistic associates ensures my complete confidence in the continuity of our mission. I remain as committed as ever to MTC and I look forward to coming back with new ideas and a greater vision for our next chapters."
Peter Solomon, chairman of Manhattan Theatre Club's board, said, "Lynne is a great artistic leader. With her guidance, MTC has successfully completed the first phase of our newest expansion, the addition of Broadway's Biltmore Theatre to our two Off-Broadway theatres at [New York] City Center. Her stellar work for the Manhattan Theatre Club over three decades includes such productions as Ain't Misbehavin', Crimes of the Heart, Mass Appeal, Proof, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, and Doubt, with all of them garnering tremendous acclaim and many awards. She artistically produced the earliest works of many writers who would become some of this country's most important playwrights — Terrence McNally, John Partick Shanley, Richard Greenberg, Donald Margulies, David Lindsay-Abaire, and Beth Henley. "And she was one of the first artistic directors to do American premieres of international artists Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter, Athol Fugard, Brian Friel and Simon Gray.
"The Board of Directors of MTC and I wholeheartedly endorse Lynne's desire to step away from the daily management of our theatres for one season only to reflect on sustaining MTC's track record of excellence and creating new initiatives for our future. We are delighted that Lynne will make herself available for board meetings throughout the year of her sabbatical and that she will return for the 2008-09 season.
"We are lucky to have executive producer Barry Grove at the helm along with Dan Sullivan joining us for the '07-'08 season and we look forward to Lynne's return."
In spring 2007, Meadow will direct the world premiere of Charles Busch's Our Leading Lady at New York City Center — Stage II.
Currently, plans are for Meadow to begin her sabbatical in August 2007.